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BENTONVILLE -- Northwest Arkansas Community College's apprenticeship programs could expand if officials opt to improve the school's maintenance building instead of removing it, officials discussed Wednesday.

"We really want to do something different with that building," Evelyn Jorgenson said. "We have for a long time. We've been trying to figure out how to do that, when to do it."

Meeting Information

The Northwest Arkansas Community College Board will hold its monthly meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the third floor board room in Burns Hall on campus.

Source: Staff Report

The maintenance building is in the middle of campus, just north of where the Integrated Design Lab will be built.

It's not ideal to have a maintenance building in the middle of campus, Jorgenson told members of the school's Land Use Committee on Wednesday. She added it could be moved or enhanced to complement the Design Lab.

The college doesn't have the space for additional apprenticeship programs, said Debi Buckley, vice president of administration.

"That building would lend itself beautifully to the placement of those programs," she said.

The campus' plan shows the building being refurbished and a new maintenance building on the college's most northwest corner by Interstate 49. Buckley said it'd be more feasible for it to be on the northeast corner, west of Watertower Road, she said.

The discussion came after officials gave updates on the Design Lab and the Washington County Center.

The lab is on schedule to be finished by August 2019, said Jim Lay, executive director of facilities and construction management.

The parking lot on the west side of the student center will be closed during construction, Lay said. A 150-space lot was added north of the Center for Health Professions building, and the parking garage is never full, Buckley said, adding she expects to see an increase in bicycle use on campus.

"We'll have plenty of parking for students," Lay said. "It just may not be 20 feet within their building."

The lab will house the workforce construction management and visual arts programs as they have similar needs in terms of tools, resources and ventilation. The 24,000-square-foot building will cost $5.5 million.

Some modifications were made to the Washington County Center in Springdale to stay within budget once bids were reviewed, Buckley said.

Officials cut nearly $500,000 by switching to a different air conditioning system that could be housed on the roof instead of inside, said Randall Hurban, with Hight Jackson Associates, the firm working on the project.

The balcony from the second-floor event space was removed, and the fire marshal required a stair exit be added from the second story on the building's west side, Hurban reported.

"It's not adding much cost," he said, explaining it can be removed with a future westward expansion. "It won't look finished, but it won't be an eyesore either."

Officials broke ground on the center June 27 and are anticipating a December 2019 completion. The Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation announced its public portion of the capital campaign, NWACC Now, for the Washington County Center at the groundbreaking. It's raised $4.4 million of the $12 million goal.

The 35,000-square-foot building will be on 20 acres near Arvest Ballpark and Arkansas Children's Northwest hospital.

"I think it'll be tough to have the Washington County Center done in time for the fall semester," Jorgenson said. "It would be a case of every domino falling perfectly, and that almost never happens."

NW News on 08/09/2018

Print Headline: College committee hears building project updates

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